Milo Yield: Laugh Tracks in the Dust 1-2-12
Hallelujah! I got the best Christmas present. The week before Christmas we got enuf rain that my 4-acre pond filled to overflowing overnight. It wuz just about dry from the drought. When I did chores one evening, it wuz raining hard, but no runoff had reached the pond. Voila! The next morning when I got up I couldn’t believe my eyes. The overflow tubes had about 6-inches of water running through them. The biggest benefit is that all that runoff probably saved my fish population. T’was truly a wonderful gift from Mother Nature.
And, speaking of Ma Nature, just as soon as my pond filled up with water, the very next day it was nearly full of Canadian geese and mallards – hundreds of them. I’m not much of a waterfowl hunter any more, but I certainly enjoy watching the birds come and go.
Then this morning I witnessed a natural melodrama unfold on the pond. As soon as it wuz light, I happened to glance out the double doors toward the pond. I saw a big bald eagle just as it struck one of the few snow geese that were intermingled in the Canadians and the ducks.
The eagle had its talons in the goose, but try as it might, I could not lift the goose from the water. After a minute or so, the eagle released the goose, but continued to harass the poor goose which was injured and trapped in a tiny circle of open water surrounded by ice. Every time the eagle would dive bomb the goose to catch it again, the goose would dive under the water, only to resurface in seconds and then have to dive for safety once again. This continued unceasingly for probably 10 minutes. I watched the whole saga unfold through my binoculars.
Finally, the eagle gave up and retired to a nearby tree limb where it could closely watch the injured snow goose. Soon, it was joined by a second eagle and it, too, took up a patient watch on the hapless goose.
This started about 7:30 a.m. and at 10 a.m. the stalemate continued – the goose paddling around in its little open water trap and the eagle pair patiently watching.
Finally, I went to the computer room for a half hour and when I looked again, the goose had somehow walked/fluttered/swam to join the several hundred other geese and ducks. The eagles remained perched in the same place.
I wuz hesitant to let my chicken flock out of the henhouse with a pair of hungry eagles so near, so before I let the chickens out, I drove my UTV to the north end of the pond and scared up all the geese, ducks and the eagle pair. Alas, the only animal that didn’t fly away was the snow goose. Although it didn’t outwardly appear to be bloodied, it apparently was too injured to fly away to safety.
So, it did the next best thing. The goose snuck out of the water and buried itself in the heavy native grasses and weeds at the pond’s edge. Soon afterwards, I went to town to finish my Christmas shopping and when I returned, the eagles were no where to be seen and neither was the snow goose. Nor did I find a pile of chicken feathers anywhere.
It will be interesting to see if the eagles return tomorrow morning to try for a goose breakfast again.
It’s now the next day and I can report that there’s nary a goose nor an eagle on my pond. The eagles have flown on and the goose is probably being digested by a coyote or a raccoon as I write.
The headline in the news this morning wuz about the fights and scuffles that broke out nationwide over city folks wanting to buy the new Air Jordan “tennis shoes” (that’s what we used to call ’em) that were introduced. Crazies wanted the new shoes so much that the police were required to break up the fights.
I think that right there shows the difference between city folks and country folks. I have never seen nor heard of a fight among cowboys wanting to be the first in their community to be seen wearing a pair of fancy new Tony Lama boots, a new model and color Stetson hat, a newly introduced turquoise bolo tie, or a new style of engraved leather belt.
Likewise, I’ve never seen grain farmers fighting to get the newest model of Pioneer cap, Carhaart coveralls or Northern gum boots.
I guess that proves that it’s the rural folks who actually act more civilized than their urban counterparts who THINK they are WAY more civilized.
You’ll think of me as more civilized if I quit this column right now and let you get on with your post Christmas celebrations. So, my words of wisdom for this week come from humorist Fred Allen. He said a holiday party is “a gathering held to enable 40 people to talk about themselves at the same time. The man who remains after the liquor is gone is the host.”
Have a good, and safe party.